RATODERO: Nearly 500 patients in Larkana district need the blood bank and Thalassaemia centre at Chandka Medical College Hospital (CMCH) to be completed.
These projects were meant to be handed over to the hospital in August and November 2008, sources told PPI. They have cost an estimated Rs2.5 million and Rs5 million, respectively, and their foundation stones were laid by Senator Muhammad Ali Brohi on August 29, 2007 and July 25, 2008.
The work was supposed to be completed in part by the provincial programme manager of the Sindh Blood Transfusion Authority (SBTA), Karachi and the Executive Engineer of the Central Civil Division, Pak PWD, Larkana. The Sindh health department has yet to provide the equipment as well. Thalassaemia patients from more than seven districts in upper Sindh and even parts of Balochistan and lower Punjab need to go to Chandka Medical College Hosptial.
The patients, who are mostly children, require frequent transfusions of blood, at least once a month, and when they cannot go to the government hospital, they are forced to buy blood privately. A pint (250ml) costs between Rs1500 to Rs2000 and it is not necessarily screened properly as many of the private blood banks are not registered with the SBTA. These blood banks are not registered according to the Sindh Transfusion of Safe Blood Act (STSBA) of 1997 since they do not have the proper machinery.
Sources in the EDO Health, Larkana office said that there are more than 72 unregistered blood banks and laboratories working in the Qambar- Shahdadkot and Larkana districts. CMCH sources told PPI news agency that Rs2 million was sanctioned this year for blood packs and other kits for Thalassemia patients. The material is expected to arrive within two months.
An additional Rs0.5 million and tiles were given by two MNAs for the Thalassemia Centre building. Abdul Khalique Kertio of the Indus Social Welfare Association, Naudero, told PPI that more than seven Thalassemia-infected children died in the past one year alone. Two of them Siraj and Sanam were the children of a cobbler, Aslam Chano, from village Phulpota. His third child Muskan, 5, has the same condition. It is estimated that there are more than 50 children in Naudero with the condition.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 09/05/2010
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